Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts

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Penguin, Jan 30, 2014 - Science - 352 pages
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From the acclaimed author of Reading in the Brain and How We Learn, a breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain

How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before.

In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries.

A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paul_S - LibraryThing

Despite having read about some of these studies when they were published I am still astounded by the progress in reading our brains. The writing is a bit overenthusiascilly all over place and the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

Readably reviews the vast amount of recent experimental research on the extent of unconscious brain operations (the majority) and on how conscious brain operations differ from them. Favors a "global ... Read full review


The Stuff of Thought
Consciousness Enters the Lab
Fathoming Unconscious Depths
What Is Consciousness Good For?
The Signatures of a Conscious Thought
Theorizing Consciousness
The Ultimate Test
The Future of Consciousness
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About the author (2014)

Stanislas Dehaene was trained as a mathematician and psychologist before becoming one of the world’s most active researchers on the cognitive neuroscience of language and number processing in the human brain. He is the director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit in Saclay, France, the professor of experimental cognitive psychology at the Collège de France, a member of the French Academy of Sciences and of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is the author of The Number Sense and Reading in the Brain. He lives in France.

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